Amazon today announced that it has selected New York City and Arlington, Virginia, as the locations for the company’s new headquarters dubbed Amazon HQ2. Amazon will invest $5 billion and create more than 50,000 jobs across the two new headquarters locations, with more than 25,000 employees each in New York City and Arlington. The new locations will join Seattle as the company’s three headquarters in North America.
Amazon also announced that it has selected Nashville for a new Center of Excellence for its Operations business, which is responsible for the company’s customer fulfillment, transportation, supply chain, and other similar activities. The Operations Center of Excellence in Nashville will create more than 5,000 jobs.
The new Washington, D.C. metro headquarters in Arlington will be located in National Landing, and the New York City headquarters will be located in the Long Island City neighborhood in Queens. Amazon’s investments in each new headquarters will spur the creation of tens of thousands of additional jobs in the surrounding communities. Hiring at both the new headquarters will begin in 2019. The Operations Center of Excellence will be located in downtown Nashville as part of a new development site just north of the Gulch, and hiring will also begin in 2019.
Cities which responded to Amazon’s search for their new headquarters, dubbed Amazon HQ2, may well feel a little cheated. Having promised billions of dollars worth of investment and tens of thousands of jobs, Amazon now won’t have a second head quarters but will have what amounts to two large regional offices with their main headquarters still located in Seattle.
For New York and Arlington, both on the East coast of the US and the best part of 3,000 miles from Seattle on the West coast, the investment and jobs will doubtless be welcome and with 25,000 jobs at each of the two sites both will likely be enormous campus based locations.
Realistically, the location of Amazon’s headquarters won’t impact merchants and the hype that’s surrounded the decision is more about investment and jobs in the US than something that will have an immediate impact on the growth of the marketplace.
The only really interesting question is with Seattle firmly established as Amazon HQ1, will it be NYC or Arlington that wins the title of HQ2 and which city will win the lesser prize and be designated as HQ3?